Systemic Sclerosis Dental Involvement: Taste and Smell Impairments

Author: Jo Frowde. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer

Sense of Smell and Mortality
Sense of Taste and Scleroderma


Coffee cup and cookieTaste and smell impairments can be caused by many things.

Surprisingly, losing a sense of smell is a strong indication of poor health, so it warrants a trip to the doctor to identify the underlying cause.

Taste Disorders. The senses of taste and smell are very closely related. Most people who go to the doctor because they think they have lost their sense of taste are surprised to learn that they have a smell disorder instead. NIH.

Smell Disorders. Smell disorders have many causes including illnesses, infection, injury, nasal polyps, sinusitis, hormone disturbances, dental problems, chemical exposures, some medications, and head or neck radiation. MedicineNet.

Sense of Smell and Mortality

Anosmia means inability to smell.

Does losing your sense of smell predict death risk? There are many reasons for temporary loss of sense of smell, including viral infections, nasal blockage and allergy, so you shouldn't panic if you suddenly stop "smelling the roses". But you are advised to see your GP if there is no obvious reason for a sudden loss of smell. NHS Choices, 10/02/2014.

A poor sense of smell could mean the end is nigh. Losing the sense of smell is one of the most accurate signs of failing health. The Telegraph, 10/01/2014.

Sense of Taste and Scleroderma

Ageusia means inability to taste.

Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) is an extremely rare cause of loss of taste or smell, and such symptoms are not part of the diagnostic criteria for any type of scleroderma. In a scleroderma patient, impaired smell is likely due to dry nasal passages or medication side effects, and impaired taste is likely due to cranial nerve involvement or heartburn. See your doctor for all new or changing symptoms. (Also see:What is Scleroderma?, Sjogren's, and Heartburn)

(10 Case Reports) Cranial nerve involvement in systemic sclerosis (scleroderma). Ten scleroderma patients developed cranial nerve involvement, including trigeminal neuropathy, taste dysfunction, tongue fasciculations, tinnitus, hearing loss, and facial weakness. PubMed, Medicine.


Loss of Taste and Smell: Causes and Cures. Dozens of tips here, such as using spices, eating oysters (for zinc), changing medications, resetting your taste buds, sniff therapy, and humidifying. Readers Digest.

Losing your sense of smell. How bad can it be? Many cases are treatable with cheap drugs. Given the economic and human costs of depression, treating anosmia may even save money in the long run. New Scientist, 05/04/2013.

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